Generation 2004 has received several questions related to childcare facilities in the Commission during the COVID-19 period and the possible reimbursement of costs. In this article we present you with the most important information on this subject.
Reopening of childcare facilities in the Commission
As part of a gradual deconfinement, from the 25 May after school childcare sections started to accommodate children in smaller groups, half the normal size (6 to 8 children in the creche, a maximum of 9 children in kindergarten) alternating every other week. However, from the start the original rules were too strict, which may explain while approximately only half – if not less – of parents put their small children in creches in this first phase of deconfinement.
Meanwhile, the rules are about to change again, to align with the Belgium system but the service is quite reduced as per the OIB email sent on 9 June. After school childcare, will only be provided:
- at the schools’ OIB childcare facilities (not at the central sites),
- until 17:00PM at the latest,
- without any meals or drinks provided (the child must bring everything from home),
- with billing as per the normal full service.
OIB will inform all parents concerned on the reintegration method for children who have either tested positive for COVID-19 or are suspected (by their general practitioner (GP)) of having COVID-19 and will regularly update this information. This will allow for the best organisation of the return of children to childcare facilities and ensure that educational staff welcome them back in the best possible conditions.
For the month of March, parents will be charged for the first two weeks only and not for the period 16-31 March 2020. The same will apply for the whole month of April and from 1 May until 24 May. From 25 May and until the end of the school year in early July 2020, only enrolled children in the updated services will pay their contribution. As said above, this will be paid in full as if the normal pre-COVID-19 crisis service was in place.
Keep in mind that childcare fees are always deducted from the salary two months after the child’s attendance at childcare facilities. (e.g. fees due for the first two weeks of March will only be deducted in May).
Summer outdoor day care centre
Unfortunately, the Commission has decided not to organise a minimum service for the children of the essential staff at its regular childcare facilities during confinement phase 0. Further to this, the summer outdoor day care service might even be cancelled or its structure modified according to health recommendations and circumstances related to the COVID-19 crisis. If this happens, there will be no financial impact for parents.